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Last Tuesday was a great day. On my monthly free call I got to speak with my mentor and friend Jeff Burke. He graciously agreed to be my guest. For those of you who are not familiar with this special event that I facilitate every month or have not signed up before here is the recap.

Photography Business Secrets is a venture that I started just a few months ago. After taking time off (after all I did sell a company to Bill Gates) it was time for me to do something again. Before I know it I am back at conferences and seminars and am learning a lot of new skills. I get my head around platform building, social media, information marketing and much, much more.  After all I am an Entrepreneur and love business, so I decided to take these new ideas on how to run a contemporary business and bring it to what I love – photography.

As a note of caution, I am not known to be  shy and modest. What I say and do is designed to be very straight forward and to the point. The truth is what it is. Your business is either doing well or it is not. You either do something about it or not. Creative business is my passion. To me it’s a living, breathing thing and I understand it. I can get my head around it and know what “it” needs to grow and get bigger. Sometimes people are not sure about my straight forward method but for the most part, the feedback is overwhelmingly positive. I know my stuff works and I have a track record to prove it.

But back to the call. Jeff Burke is another one of these people who gets it. On the monthly call (that is open for anyone to join) he shared his amazing and inspirational success story. Jeff and his wife and partner Lorraine Triolo started as a food photography/ food stylist team and worked themselves to the top of their field. They eventually started Foodpix, a stock syndication specialized in food because they had so many food images literally sitting around. From there he grew this business to a 21 million dollar company and sold it to Jupitermedia for a multiple of that gross revenue. Today he is a fine art photographer and you can see his work here.

Jeff is a creative with a business mind or as he calls it a Creative Entrepreneur. He shared his inspirational story and made many important points. The information was so good that I kept him on twice as long as I had told him I would and he was a good sport about it. Here are some of the points he made.

Be part of an organization. You are not alone with your issues. Being a member of a photography association you will realize that there are others just like you, it makes a huge difference to your mental attitude. In addition it creates an enormous outlet for opportunities that you might not have known about before. Sitting at home and wondering what is going on “out there” won’t help you. You are the one who needs to get out there and start network with the right people. There was a question about the difference between socializing and networking. Do your networking first, then you can socialize.

Another important point Jeff made is that there are many more opportunities in photography other than “just” being a photographer. Be open and flexible to see what else is around you. If things are not working you need to do an honest self evaluation. Just take a look at what he did with his career. If he would have stuck to his first calling as a photographer he would not be where he is today.

Jeff also said that it gets easier over time and you just can’t get around paying your dues. He said that being a professional and having good bedside manners is key to your success, or as he put it, “Don’t be a jerk.”

Jeff spoke about his professional involvement with PLUS, PACA and the ASPP. He reiterated that continuous education and constantly learning is of utter importance. He went to UCLA to get a business degree while he was running one. One of the major points he made was that you need to learn as much as you can about your industry and figure out how it works. Only when you know how it works can you become a player. Jeff said that he believes his fine art venture will be very successful as well because he is as he always has, learning what there is to learn first.

Here is some of the feedback that I received immediately after the call:

It was excellent, you did such a great job interviewing him and he was very interesting, my favorite part was that you can’t just sit at home and expect people to find you, you have to get out and seriously network.

I enjoyed the event last  night! You and Jeff show what marketing, ideas, and being the best will lead to.
It is easy to be discouraged in this environment after working many years as an architectural photographer. Listening your  comments  shows that you can photograph food one day and make millions years later with ideas. Beate you are very good at what you do.

I wanted to thank you for letting me being part of your seminar. It was GREAT! I enjoyed listening to Jeff. He is such an inspiration and so clever. You do good work, Beate. I am in a strange place right now, trying to figure out my next move and where I am going with my work, my talent my passion. So the seminar was perfect and helped me to work on a few things and to focus on what to do next. Please keep me posted on your next seminars.

Your webinars always amaze me! I always gain some further insight or get questions answered each and every time. I always wondered about redlining the sentence when it comes to ownership and rights. Now I’m armed with this knowledge. So thank you yet again and for doing what you do. You have immensely helped this little photographer get closer to my dreams.

As a reminder. There is a free call each month and anyone can join. The sign-up is always on this page I announce it on the blog and via direct mail. If you are registered in my database which you can do it here: you will automatically receive notifications of upcoming events.

And finally, remember that there is much more. The most detailed and how-to information as well as special offers are obtained through a Silver Membership in my Photo Team. The membership calls are even more in depth and include special access to the guest or an offer only available to members. These offers are worth a multiple of your investment. Try it for only $1 for one month, coaching investment thereafter $97/month. If you are one of the first 25 t respond I’ll add a fast acting bonus of $57 and add the webinar about New Media with Rosh Sillars for free. What do you have to loose?

Coming next: Announcing the launch of Beate Chelette’s Cash In a Flash System, The Secrets For Your Career as a Working Photographer.

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